Wells Fargo cuts 161 Minnesota jobs, blames re-fi downturn


Wells Fargo is laying off 161 mortgage employees in the Twin Cities, part of a national job slashing effort that was announced on Wednesday.

The Business Journal reports that the San Francisco-based bank notified 2,323 employees of the decision. The laid off workers got a 60-day notice and will be eligible for tenure-based severance if the bank can not find them work in other areas of the company.

Wells Fargo laid off 700 mortgage workers earlier this month, but the metro area was spared in that round of cuts.

In DesMoines, 87 were laid off, according to the DesMoines Register. Wells Fargo employs about 13,500 in the Des Moines region, where its home mortgage unit is based. It is the area's largest private employer.

A spokeswoman for the bank said that the slowing consumer demand for mortgage refinancing led to the staff trimming. Higher interest rates have made refinancing less appealing to homeowners. Interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have inceased from below 3.5% last spring to about 4.5% today, according to Bankrate.com.

"After evaluating the current market and our business needs, we are reducing staff to better align and increase the efficiency of our organization." Wells Fargo spokeswoman Peggy Gunn said in a statement to the Business Journal.

Wells Fargo's share of the mortgage market has grown dramatically in recent years and the bank now funds about a quarter of all the home loans in the U.S.

Next Up


Judge orders Minnesota gym that defied shutdown to close

Attorney General Keith Ellison sued the gym after it remained open.

montana cutbank

Charges: Man shot victim 'without provocation' using sawed-off shotgun

The incident happened on Nov. 24 in Ten Lake Township, located in Beltrami County.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Walz, first responders address Minnesotans

Some departments have been forced to shift staffing or suspend service due to COVID-19.

covid-19, coronavirus

CDC says COVID-19 quarantine period can be cut to 10 or 7 days

You can come out of a 7-day quarantine following exposure provided you've had a negative test.

maple grove fire

1 person found dead inside Maple Grove business that burned down

A person had been unaccounted following the fire that destroyed Hanson Implement and Storage Tuesday night.

One-dollar bill, cash, money

Appeals court rules MN high school students can get unemployment benefits

They've been denied the benefits, and some were even asked to pay them back.

covid-19, coronavirus

Dec. 2 COVID-19 update: 77 more deaths in Minnesota

The death toll is closing in on 3,700 in Minnesota.

City Pages

Fan creates City Pages archive, Star Tribune tells him to remove it

After word spread that the defunct newspaper's website would go down, a fan created his own copy. Then he got a cease and desist letter.

Adam Thielen

Vikings activate Adam Thielen off COVID-19/reserve list

The star receiver missed last week's victory over Carolina.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 10.27.14 AM

Naked man shot by St. Paul cop is charged for sexual assault of ex-girlfriend

The 31-year-old suspect remains at Regions Hospital after being shot.

Lindsay Whalen

Whalen's Gophers start season with only 7 players available

Whalen isn't happy that a transfer wasn't granted immediate eligibility to play.